— Batesville High School FFA members will be more in the spotlight than ever at the Nov. 13 Farm-City Banquet. Some will get the chance to be applauded “because of all of the awards won at the state convention June 19,” reports banquet committee member Cassie Mumaw, the BHS agriscience teacher and FFA adviser.
About half of the 45 members will help set up beforehand and clean up afterwards at the 53rd annual event.
Chaplain Colton Lunsford will give the invocation and officers will conduct a business meeting. FFA President Holly Laker says the event is “a lot of fun. It’s really interesting to listen to everyone.”
What excites the senior about the club this year? “I’m really looking forward to how well our team does at the leadership contest in March at Jennings County High School.” Members will present a talent show and other career development experiences.
The dinner is sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Batesville, Batesville Area Chamber of Commerce and FFA.
Some dishes will be made using locally grown items, reports BMS cafeteria manager Berna Meyer. On the menu are smoked pork, cauliflower and broccoli, kale, green beans, au gratin potatoes, roll and pumpkin pie.
Roberts says the banquet offers attendees “a good meal at a good price, and itís an opportunity to learn about the connection between the farm and city residents and businesses. Plus it’s an excellent opportunity to see some of our students in action and how theyíre participating in the agricultural system.” Krause adds, “We’re trying to encourage people to get their tickets earlier.” Those who do will pay $2 less than at the door.
Kathy Cooley, Southeastern Indiana Farm to School Program coordinator, will speak after the meal. The innovative program is sponsored by Margaret Mary Community Hospital with cooperation from the Food and Growers Association of Laughery Valley and Environs and Batesville Community Education Foundation.
"The goal of the initiative is twofold,î the MMCH dietitian explains. “One is, of course, to introduce kids to produce and encourage them to eat it – expand their eating horizons. We have already demonstrated success with that in the schools, getting them to eat foods you wouldn't expect them to.”
The second part of the program is adding gardens to Batesville primary and high schools, St. Louis School and Milan and South Ripley schools. They are under construction at Batesville intermediate and middle schools. The FGA president points out the gardens become hands-on science learning labs where students can explore soil, plants, insects and nature.
The blueberry farmer observes the project also involves restaurants and Community Mental Health Center. “It’s more than just a school program.”
Debbie Blank can be contacted at 812-934-4343, Ext. 113; or debbie.blank@ batesvilleheraldtribune.com.